My Climate Journey

Ep 20: Saul Griffith, Founder of Otherlab

Episode Summary

Today’s guest is Saul Griffith, the founder of Otherlab. Saul is a brilliant engineer and inventor, and has started numerous technology companies based in the Bay Area including Makani Power (acquired by Google), Instructables (acquired by Autodesk), and Squid Labs. Now, at Otherlab, he is pairing creativity & rigor to innovations in sustainable energy and robotics. We cover a number of topics in this episode, and I hope you enjoy!

Episode Notes

Today’s guest is Saul Griffith, the founder of Otherlab.

Saul is a prolific inventor and entrepreneur but was trained as an engineer. He received his Ph.D. at MIT in the junction between materials science and information theory. Prior to MIT, Saul studied in Sydney, Australia and at UC Berkeley in metallurgical engineering. Since graduating in 2004 he has started numerous technology companies based in the Bay Area including Makani Power 2007-acquired by Google, Instructables 2006-acquired by Autodesk and Squid Labs 2004-2007. Saul has been awarded numerous awards for invention and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2007. Saul holds multiple patents and patents pending in textiles, optics, nanotechnology, energy production, manufacturing and smart geometry.

Otherlab is an independent research & design lab that pairs creativity & rigor to innovations in sustainable energy and robotics.

In this episode we discuss:

I hope you enjoy the show!

You can find me on twitter @jjacobs22 or @mcjpod and via email at, where I encourage you to share feedback on episodes and/or suggestions for guests/topics you'd like to see covered in the future.

Links for topics discussed in this episode:

Episode Transcription

Jason Jacobs:                Hello everyone. This is Jason Jacobs, and welcome to my climate journey. This show follows my journey to interview a wide range of guests, to better understand and make sense of the formidable problem of climate change. And try to figure out how people like you and I can help.

Jason Jacobs:                Hey everyone, Jason here. Today's guest is Saul Griffith. Saul's the founder of Otherlab which is an independent research and design lab that pairs creativity in rigor, with innovations in sustainable energy, and robotics. Saul is an intimidating fellow. He is a MacArthur Fellow literally. He was named a MacArthur genius back in 2007. He's a big guy with this Australian accent, and he's had his hands in more birthing of companies than I can even count. He's also quite outspoken with his views, and he's a prolific writer on climate change, and green new deal. And a number of other topics.

Jason Jacobs:                But we had a great conversation. I learned quite a lot. And he's a super nice guy. One caveat is that we lost the file from an audio standpoint, so we took the video and converted it to audio which means that the quality won't be nearly as good as what you're used to on this podcast. But it was too valuable a discussion to miss. And so we didn't want to throw it away, so we took what we could.

Jason Jacobs:                We covered a number of topics in this episode, including Saul's background, and what led him down the path of running Otherlab. We talked about the Otherlab model, and the combination of working with government for grants, and private financing. We also talked about Saul's views on climate change. How to think about it. And also how to think about solutions. Including some ideas that Saul is giving away for free on how we might be able to have the greatest impact on the problem. And Saul actually had some great advice for anyone out there who is concerned about climate change, and trying to figure out how to help. I enjoyed this episode a lot. And I hope you do as well. Saul Griffith, welcome to the show.

Saul Griffith:                 Thank you, great to be here. Well actually, I'm always here. Great to have you here.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, thank you for hosting. Otherlab is in a former organ factory, right?

Saul Griffith:                 We are in the former home of the [inaudible 00:02:23] Pipe Organ Company, that were in this building from 1926 till 2011. And in a truth is stranger than fiction story, they didn't shut down in 2011 because the pipe organ industry was fading, which is what you might think casually. But the Mormon church is growing so fast, and them Mormons they love their pipe organs, that they had to move to Venice to expand threefold to keep up with pipe organ demand. So there yeah go.

Jason Jacobs:                Well it's a real treat to be here. I have to say that I feel like I'm in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or something.

Saul Griffith:                 We have a pretty fun workshop, and we are working on a lot of interesting things. Mostly energy. Everyone comes here and is like, "oh you have the funnest work ever." And I always sort of recoil, because it does I think, if you arrive for the first time, feel like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But if you're Charlie, you have to pay all the employees, and you have to make all the chocolate. So it feels like work.

Jason Jacobs:                Well just how then... What did Violet eat, the blueberry or something? You know where she turned into the big blueberry.

Saul Griffith:                 That's right.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah.

Saul Griffith:                 Careful what I feed you today.

Jason Jacobs:                Well first, just to thank you, because you, I don't know if you know this, but you got me into boosted boards. Because you had your boosted board at a food-camp event, a few years ago. It was the very first one that I'd been on. I'd seen one live once before, but I'd never ridden one. So I rode yours, and I went and bought one. And I use it almost everyday at home. So thing rocks.

Saul Griffith:                 I think electric skateboard is totally for the win. And I don't know when you want me to start devolving into anecdotes, but I begin now if you wish.

Jason Jacobs:                Have at it.

Saul Griffith:                 So I know this is a show about your journey into climate change and energy, unlike-

Jason Jacobs:                How did you know this? I didn't even tell you on the air.

Saul Griffith:                 [crosstalk 00:04:03] I read the first couple lines of the email. I admit not reading to the end, so I didn't know it was 9am, and I didn't know it was this morning, but I did know what it was about. So I'm chronically data-driven, and I'm in the middle of analysis right now, of all of this macro-mobility. I can't believe I even know that's what the genre is called. So all the scooters, boosted boards, all the stuff. And if you include the energy cost of making the scooter. Or the board. Or the pair of sneakers. Or the bicycle. Or the car. You'd like to do an all-in energy cost, or carbon cost of all of the transportation modes.

Jason Jacobs:                Right.

Saul Griffith:                 Turns out that most of those scooters do less than 100 miles before they're thrown in a lake, or a river, or broken. And because the miles are so low, they never amortize their production cost. And they probably have the equivalent mileage of a gasoline SUV.

Jason Jacobs:                So, wow. That is actually-

Saul Griffith:                 Which is to say, if you're riding your booster board, it is amazing and can be the lowest cost. But you have to do 2000 or more miles on it, before it starts to count.

Jason Jacobs:                I wonder what I've actually done, but it's got to be pushing that. I use it a lot.

Saul Griffith:                 Do you? Well, you're an excellent citizen.

Jason Jacobs:                But, as you know, I'm on this climate journey. And I'm talking a lot to people. And one of the tricky things I've found, especially as someone who hasn't been deep in this world for long, and doesn't have much training in the scientific underpinnings that are required to understand a lot of this stuff, is that you read something, and it's like, "oh, so that's going to inform my worldview." But then you talk to someone else, and it's like, whoa but that's not considering this, and this, and that, and that. And if you actually considered all of those things that thing is considered bunk.

Jason Jacobs:                And you hear that, and I feel like you're the guy who the things I read will tell me all the reasons it's bunk. Like you just did about the-

Saul Griffith:                 Oh, this is the debunking episode. All right, let's go. Give me all of the [inaudible 00:05:53] to debunk. Here I am.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, so I feel like whatever worldview I end up with, or the listeners end up with, as we are collectively trying to get more informed about climate change because we care about the planet. It wouldn't be properly pressure tasted if we didn't pay a visit to Otherlab, and that's why I'm here.

Saul Griffith:                 There ya go. I feel good about that.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, and the only other thing just as an aside, and then we'll get into the meet, I promise listeners, is that in 1996 I did a semester abroad at UNSW in Sydney, Australia.

Saul Griffith:                 Yo, UNSW. I don't... they don't have a beaver or anything. So there's no mascot.

Jason Jacobs:                But you were studying there at that time. Right?

Saul Griffith:                 I finished in '94.

Jason Jacobs:                Oh, so I just missed you.

Saul Griffith:                 No, I would've finished in '96, that's true.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, yeah. So we might've crossed paths. I wouldn't have remembered it, I had a wonderful time there. Wasn't particularly lucid.

Saul Griffith:                 We were in the metallurgy building, which was the building closest to the university bar. So you probably saw me on the way to the bar in front of the campus.

Jason Jacobs:                Did you ever go the Coogee Bay Hotel?

Saul Griffith:                 A lot.

Jason Jacobs:                Me too.

Saul Griffith:                 There ya go. Those were the days.

Jason Jacobs:                Late night visit to the Sydney Harbor. Just, you know.

Saul Griffith:                 That was probably the year I was first arrested for protesting, or no, it was the year before that I was first arrested for protesting climate change.

Jason Jacobs:                Well tell me about that. Actually, let's take a step back. When did you start caring? And why did you start caring?

Saul Griffith:                 I've always cared about the environment, because I grew up in all of Australia's national parks. And we have basically Australia is a wilderness. And it's fabulous. If you want, there's the Great Barrier Reef. And all sorts of temperate rain forests. Incredible things to see. And my mother was a wildlife artist, so every summer holiday for me was in a hide somewhere in the wilderness, trying to get photographs of some endangered species. And or watching sea turtles nest on islands in the middle of the pacific. So I had this [inaudible 00:07:40] childhood. Like I lived planet Earth. And so I think you grow up with a save the world mentality.

Saul Griffith:                 And then I went to engineering school. Because I liked making stuff. Feel like engineering means you can solve problems, fix things. And once I got the engineering school started, it was a little bit after James Hanson's testimonium. So climate change was starting to get fringe public acceptance. So if you were in the fringe of the general public, you might be aware of it.

Saul Griffith:                 And I was aware of it because I was in engineering school. I was learning to read science, and understand it.

Jason Jacobs:                So you were getting your master's at the time?

Saul Griffith:                 Undergrad.

Jason Jacobs:                Okay.

Saul Griffith:                 And then, so it seemed fairly natural for me. If you care about the coral reefs, and the plants and the animals, you sort of need to worry about climate change. So hopefully honest, I think there's an interesting set of people I think at the moment who wish to solve climate change because they like humans. And they'd like humans to prosper.

Saul Griffith:                 There's people who would like to solve climate change for different reasons. I'm kind of in the camp of, I like humans a little bit, but I'd really like Earth to be interesting enough for humans to want to live there, because of the animals. So that's kind of what motivates me.

Jason Jacobs:                So if you had to choose between humans and animals, other than yourself you'd choose animals it sounds like.

Saul Griffith:                 No, I would choose a mix of humans and animals where we try to make the animals thrive. Because I think we are still learning how codependent we are on the biosphere. So I think there's a lot of people who sort of, they've only grown up in big cities, they don't really have a personal relationship with the natural world. They don't viscerally understand how the waves of the beach oxygenate the ocean. And how all the creatures do their bit in the ecosystem that supports life.

Saul Griffith:                 And because of that they don't even consult climate change. We don't really need the monkeys. We don't really need the mammals. We don't really need the coral reefs. But I think we actually.

Jason Jacobs:                Uh-huh. One tricky thing is that, the things I'm reading are saying that actually on a per-capita basis, if we want lower emissions, we should ship everybody into the cities. Right? And if we ship everybody into the cities they're going to have even less awareness for the planet, as you're describing. So first do you agree that putting people in the cities is better from a carbon-footprint standpoint? And if so, how can we do that but still retain people's connection to nature?

Saul Griffith:                 So step one, are cities better? I don't think anyone who's honest can definitively say that city dwellers are lower carbon than non-city dwellers.

Jason Jacobs:                That's debunk number one.

Saul Griffith:                 The origin of this argument was papers that were written trying to prove that people in New York... That living in New York was better than living in Omaha.

Jason Jacobs:                Mm-hmm (affirmative)-

Saul Griffith:                 The methodology of that study was to take the population of a state, and divide it by the energy that you could see measurably in that state. So New York doesn't produce a huge amount of it's power, and has a very high population. So if you divide one by the other, it looks great on paper. If you go and have a look at the list of those states, it turns out that Texas people look like they're terrible, but not as bad as Alaskans. And not as bad as people from Wyoming. And not as bad as people from Texas.

Saul Griffith:                 The reason that is true is because most of the fossil fuels are produced in Alaska. And Wyoming. And these places. So there's a small population, and a huge amount of fossils fuels produced. So if you divide the energy in that state by the population, it looks like they're terrible people. But the reality is, those studies weren't counting the imports into New York City, of the energy produced in Indiana, or Alaska. So, it's not a good analysis. And so you have to start then wondering, is it really better to live in a city, than not?

Saul Griffith:                 And if you go further down that rat hole, you start to look at it more. And then you could run the thought experiment, can a city support itself? And turns out San Francisco, to cover the energy budget of everyone living in San Francisco, would have to be 100% covered with high efficiency solar cells. So cities have no opportunity, when the population density gets to the population density of San Francisco, which I think is about 8,000 people a square mile. New York City is about 20,000 for context. Most of suburban America is 2,500, to 4,000 people a square mile. Rural is lower.

Saul Griffith:                 Anyway once you get to about 8,000 a square mile, the energy levels that Americans enjoy, the city just can't produce it in any practical way. There's not enough rooftops to put the solar on. Not enough places to put the wind turbines. So then you have to denude something somewhere else to put the solar cells. And put the wind turbines. And put the nuclear power plant to produce the energy, and liquids, for those cities.

Saul Griffith:                 And so is that better than a model say of, turns out it may be a population density of 2,500 to 4,000. Which is the suburbs. The homes aren't big enough that they could produce enough energy to cover all of the energy used in the household. So, I've never loved the suburbs. Grew up in the suburbs, which I think wherever you grow up, you then want the other. So I kind of fetishized a rural existence, or a city existence, because I grew up in the suburbs.

Jason Jacobs:                You're a tweener.

Saul Griffith:                 I was a tweener. But it's unclear for sure that the suburbs may not be, in our universe where you just acknowledged that humans are going to have some amount of impact. And that we want to live a certain way. That at least you can do distributed energy in that population nesting type way that can work out. So I think there's a couple of points here.

Saul Griffith:                 It's not obvious that people in cities use less energy. In fact, they probably don't. The easiest proxy for the energy impact of an individual is their income. Cities are mostly people with higher incomes. So it's very likely that they have a higher carbon output. Just to illustrate a few things that people don't know, 3% of the energy used by Americans is Russian natural gas that is producing Ikea furniture, and BMWs in Western Europe, that we purchase.

Saul Griffith:                 So those people in New York don't sort of see that as energy. It's not measured in their energy input, but it is in their carbon footprint. Probably 10% of American's carbon footprint, is crap made in China. People in New York consume more of that, so the jury is out exactly on that. And I think you need to be wary of it. So then I think you need to instead look for, well what are models I can construct in my mind that are net-carbon-zero for all of the different places people could live.

Jason Jacobs:                And honestly Saul, I feel like I could point at any topic within decarbonization. So we just talked about cities for example. But there's hundreds of them, because decarbonization touches everything. And you could go deep. It seems like any one of them, given that we have a finite amount of time, I think there's a couple things I want to make sure we cover while we're here.

Jason Jacobs:                One, is that you've been very vocal about climate change, and your concern about it. As well as potential solutions, and debunking. And you've got strong opinions. I want to make sure that those come out, so that any listener can both benefit from your perspective, but also just be informed about your perspective so that they can factor it in to their perspective forming. That's one. Making sure we leave with your perspective being clear, right?

Jason Jacobs:                The other one though, is that Otherlab does a ton of shit, right? And so some of it is climate focused, some of it is not, but you're very vocal about climate change. And so just understanding what Otherlab is doing. And what are the criteria for projects. And then how that ties in to the things you're so vocal about. That'd be another key takeaway, that'd be great to get out.

Jason Jacobs:                And then I think the third is just, advice for people trying to sort through all the noise. Because more and more people are getting turned onto the fact that it's essentially in a crisis. But they don't know what to do, they don't know where to start. They feel paralyzed. They're either going to put their head in the sand, or they're going to lay sleepless at night feeling like we're doomed. But actually neither of those is helpful. Action is helpful, but they don't know how to act, or what to do. So I think those three things. That sound good?

Saul Griffith:                 All right, let's sweep all of that under the rug quickly then, and then Q&A might be difficult to get my opinion, so then I might do monologue where you interject. How about that.

Jason Jacobs:                Sounds good, and I won't be shy. We're flipping the table now. So you're going to drive the discussion.

Saul Griffith:                 I'll drive.

Jason Jacobs:                That's scary for me.

Saul Griffith:                 I'm sorry. Obviously I've had, that's my third coffee of the morning.

Jason Jacobs:                Mine too, that's not a good combination.

Saul Griffith:                 I actually was up sleepless last night, which is probably also why I'm impatient. Because I was doing back of the envelope calculations of, if we made every purchasing decision correctly from this point out, what's sort of climate outcome do we get? So we'll come back to that.

Jason Jacobs:                You want to tackle Otherlab first?

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, let's do Otherlab. So Otherlab is an independent company, privately held. We do research and development. Our main focus is to move the needle on energy and climate change. So I think as a single entity, we've got more ARPA-E research awards than anyone. We're tiny, we're like 50 people. But we do as much work than that advanced research projects.

Jason Jacobs:                You don't include all the companies that have spun out of here in that 50 people right? SO the actual is much number in terms of the tentacles of Otherlab.

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, Otherlabs tentacles is now like 1,000 and 10 companies. Doing everything from, we have a couple of players in solar. We've got players in hydrogen storage. [inaudible 00:17:33] storage. Air conditioning. Thermally adaptive materials. So anyway our model is that we do this silly research. We try to focus most of it on energy, but we also do R&D for DARPA and the DOD. And because we have an interest in robotics and industrial automation, I could tell you a long story of why that is also part of the answer for climate change.

Saul Griffith:                 And in fact, our solar company that's crushing it, selling tons and tons of gigawatts of solar. Actually the technology started not on a Department of Energy grant, but on a Department of Defense research grant.

Saul Griffith:                 Anyway, once we do the R&D and convince ourselves that the technology is real, and the market is real. Then we spin up, and out, companies that focus on delivering that technology to the marketplace. And one of the ones that's doing really well right now is Sunfolding, which does solar tracking. So the majority of industrial solar is actually tracked on one axis, to follow the sun from morning to night. And we build the lowest cost tracking device. So we are now installing some large number of megawatts per week of that technology.

Saul Griffith:                 So Otherlabs mandate really, is to focus on energy problems that address at least one percent of climate change. So we don't really aim at working on things that are working on problems smaller than that.

Jason Jacobs:                And what percentage of your work is the contract work that you're describing, versus stuff that you're baking from zero in-house?

Saul Griffith:                 In reality you always have to bake something from zero before you can convince the government to run a research program to fund it. So the first quarter million dollars of anything we do is spent internally, kind of proving the math and the physics. That we then, I think a lot of people misunderstand how government funding works. They think that the government knows what it wants. And asks for it.

Saul Griffith:                 The reality is that the government is full of very smart people who kind of have a general idea, but they are smart enough to know that they don't know everything. And they don't know what's possible. So they sort of solicit ideas for things called requests for information, where you say, "oh you might not know this, but this is totally possible because of this development in material science, and this development in control theory. Therefore that enables this new possibility in off-shore wind power for example.

Saul Griffith:                 And then these government agencies take in that input, and then they start programs that look like the thing you told them was possible. So it's not so much that you're answering a call for something that they already wanted. It's more that you are informing what is possible, and suggesting that this is a good pathway for American R&D money. And then you go and do that work.

Jason Jacobs:                Is that a consistent Otherlab playbook? Where you put the Otherlab capital in a little bit to incubate the science, and then go get a grant from the government as the next step?

Saul Griffith:                 We are always playing the game. It feels two to four years in advance.

Jason Jacobs:                But the government is always involved in some way.

Saul Griffith:                 Silicon valley wants to pretend that they invented everything. Everything that's been commercialized in Silicon Valley today, was founded on government grants ten to twenty years ago. A.I. Autonomous cars. All of these things. Photovoltaics, etc. etc. All of these things were heavily funded by the government ten or twenty years ago, and are now doing mainstream stuff.

Saul Griffith:                 So we are working on where those things were ten or twenty years ago.

Jason Jacobs:                But every Otherlab project, the goal is to get it funded by the government early in?

Saul Griffith:                 No, no. Every Otherlab's project goal is to make technology that moves the needle on climate change come into the market as fast as possible. Given that venture capitalists are conservative, and they have capital return timelines that look like seven years. They won't typically play early enough in the R&D process to fund you. So the reality is, that the government is our best seed investor. And in fact, the taxpayer should be enormously proud. The government has been secretly mastering all of the technologies that Silicon Valley is now turning into money making machines.

Jason Jacobs:                And what's the criteria that you use to determine? I mean, it sounds like there's a bit of mad science that goes into it, but then there's also some-

Saul Griffith:                 Mad science is an oxymoron. Which is cool, mad science. Mad science was invented basically by Rick Moranis in the 70's, or 80's, to undermine public trust in scientists. By definition a scientist uses reason. It's like the opposite of madness. So we don't do any mad science. We do science, and math. And then we target things that are reasonable, and necessary. And then we do them. There's no madness.

Jason Jacobs:                But you're not an incremental guy, is that a fair statement?

Saul Griffith:                 We try not to do a lot of incremental things, because incremental things are done really well by big companies with large balance sheets. They can beat you at that. We to compete have to do things that are disruptive.

Jason Jacobs:                Got it, and as defined by what?

Saul Griffith:                 Well if somebody is already doing it, we won't try to beat them. Because we're not a marketing organization. And we won't be them in the competition for wallets and minds, on something that already exists. But we can see an opportunity. Typically we will not work on a project unless we can point to an equation that we understand better than everyone else, that suggests that we have a fundamental advantage based in physics. And if we do, we will then work on making that into a technology.

Jason Jacobs:                And then since you work in a bunch of different areas, is direct domain experience in each area required? And if so, is that something that you have on staff, in-house? Or do you work with a network of domain experts you can plug in? How do you get the right skills to the table for the wide array of things that you do?

Saul Griffith:                 I have a strong faith in physics. And if you know the physics world, you can figure it out. But I think we don't have to have "domain experience" to start on something. But we immediately try to hire domain experience to help us in product market fit. So we can imagine a new product that has a whole bunch of advantages. But very quickly you realize that you need to hire people with domain experience to shape what scale is that into that market. In which niche of that market. Etc. etc. etc.

Saul Griffith:                 So we had started to work on Sunfolding, and were sort of proceeding slowly. And then we hired Layla Madrone who had experience in both robotics, and in the solar tracking industry. And she said, "well I think you've got the nugget of an idea here." But really it was her industry experience, and perspective that shaped the product to be the right product. And that's true in nearly everything we've ever done.

Jason Jacobs:                And then how do you think about the return profile long term? In terms of, there's science risk. There's [inaudible 00:24:28] horizon risk. And then there's return upside. What profile is the right one for Otherlabs? Or does it depend on the private?

Saul Griffith:                 Our portfolio looks very good, and like we're succeeding, and winning.

Jason Jacobs:                But you have a longer time horizons than VC for example?

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, we have 10 to 20 year timelines.

Jason Jacobs:                10 to 20 year, and then...

Saul Griffith:                 I can imagine things today that VCs won't fund for 6 to 8 years, and I can easily compartmentalize those in my head as things that I need to tickle the underbelly of the Department of Energy, convince them that this is worth funding. Have the patience to wait two or three years for them to put in the first dollar. Three to four years to do the research to turn that into a technology. Another couple years to turn that from a technology, into a product. Then raise venture capital. Then go out into the market.

Saul Griffith:                 And honestly if you want to do full ticket, from conception to commercialization, you need to be able to think on those timelines. Otherwise all the technology... If you don't think like that, you have to take technology off the shelf and try and shoehorn it into a new market.

Jason Jacobs:                And there's a couple of this versus that's I think might fun. How do you think about innovation versus policy in the climate change fight?

Saul Griffith:                 We have everything we need, it's all policy. But your donation can make it better. There's no this versus that. If you're going to argue the this versus that game with me, it's going to be terribly unsatisfying, and it's going to be this and that.

Jason Jacobs:                It sounds like you're focused mostly on innovation. How do you make sure that the policy landscape adapts? Or do you shy away from things with high regulatory risk in the near term?

Saul Griffith:                 Solving climate change today is illegal throughout the world. We literally have 100 years of laws, and crud. Building codes. Speed limits. Etc, etc. Fire codes. That are anathema to solving climate change. So you are naïve if you don't believe that solving climate change is both an innovation, and a technology. But just as much a policy game. And so I bi-partisanly work with both sides trying to lobby the groups and inform that about what is possible. And what policy changes needed to be made, if you really wish to make this happen.

Saul Griffith:                 I go to D.C. for two days next week to do exactly that. And spend time in Sacramento doing that. And do a lot of writing for an audience that is policy-makers.

Jason Jacobs:                And what's the role of the big hydrocarbon companies for example? How do you think about them?

Saul Griffith:                 I have a new crazy idea that we can't solve climate change without engaging large hydrocarbon companies. And we have to... This is going to be the great Faustian bargain of achieving a climate goal that we want. So at sometime in the late 19th century, fossil fuel companies stumbled across the idea of a thing called proven reserves. Proven reserves is where they can put on their balance sheet, fossil fuels they haven't yet dug up. I really am interested, if any your listeners know, can identify for me the first financialization of fossil fuel reserves. I'd love to know what that reference is.

Jason Jacobs:                Wait, so this, actually so we've done... I think you'll be like the 13th or 14th episode, but this is the first request that any guest has put out to the listeners. Wouldn't it be great if we could actually return some value to a guest, instead of just extracting value.

Saul Griffith:                 [crosstalk 00:27:57] The proven reserves on the balance sheets of the worlds top 100 fossil fuel companies are more than enough to hit 3 degrees plus. So we have to leave the majority of it in the ground. It is a misunderstanding to think that fossil fuel companies are operations companies. They're mostly banks. Like the Shells, the BPs, the Chevrons, are mostly banks. They have mainly small operations, but a huge number of their operations are done by other companies. So they are banks that are using their proven reserves, which gives them a market cap, which they can have a multiple on. To have enough capital to deploy, to deliver fossil fuels.

Saul Griffith:                 It's extremely hard for me to imagine, given that basically none of them should pull anymore fossil fuels out of the ground, that they're all just going to roll over and say we're going to write off our entire value.

Jason Jacobs:                I mean, it's just leaving money on the table if you're them.

Saul Griffith:                 But then them are us. I guarantee that in ways you don't even know your various investments, and other bank accounts that you're running etc, etc. etc. are enmeshed with their finances. So the problem... So they are very capital efficient basically banks, that know how to do risk assessment, and investment on energy. They just happen to be experts in fossil fuels.

Saul Griffith:                 The challenge of renewables and the electrification of all of the stuff which needs to happen for us to solve climate change, is that it's all high up-front capital projects. So buying an electric car up-front is more expensive. Energy is much, much cheaper than gasoline. Buying an electric heat pump up front to heat your home, is much more expensive than natural gas. Because [inaudible 00:29:48] and you're doing radiant heating, it's more efficient, and you'll save energy over the lifetime. Same with solar. Very high up-front cost, and then the energy is free. Once you've putten solar on your roof.

Saul Griffith:                 So I think the grand Faustian bargain is, a government basically absolving the fossil fuel companies. Or maybe even purchasing from the fossil fuel companies their proven reserve assets. To give them a capital injection that they can then use to finance the roll-out that we need for renewables.

Jason Jacobs:                That's cool.

Saul Griffith:                 And that may sound insane, but there are already companies that I don't think they've quite got there yet, and they're hypocritical, and they've got 100 years of fossil fuel experience. But I see Shell stumbling towards this. I see other big fossil entities sort of stumbling toward this.

Saul Griffith:                 So on start-ups versus the rest of the world, no. I think the start-ups can be as optimistic as they want about solving climate change. But on the timeline we need to deploy, we need to roll things out. On the timeline that we need to finance the solutions, we need to everyone, and all of the capital.

Jason Jacobs:                So for the people that say, we should divest in fossil fuel. What do you say to them?

Saul Griffith:                 Yes, and.

Jason Jacobs:                Can you elaborate?

Saul Griffith:                 Well, I think divesting from them is going to have a very marginal impact on their proven reserve assets. So they will still exist. So divestment isn't enough. Divestment is a signal, it's a nice little protest, it's something that can make you feel good. But I think you should start wrestling with the notion that you're going to be part of a political grand bargain. Let's play fantasy football here, a democrat wins 2020 on a platform that says fossil interests, here's a solution where you kind of get a little bit of market monopoly into the future, in exchange for turning your capital towards renewables, and keeping your proven reserves in the ground.

Saul Griffith:                 Crazy, unimaginable, bi-partisan solution to the climate change. Which is something America would've been capable of in 1939 or '40, doesn't seem so today, but it's my best idea for how a new bi-partisan climate solution could emerge.

Jason Jacobs:                So should the big hydrocarbon companies, or the individuals that were at the helm during that high emitting time, where they knew, and withheld, etc. Should they be held accountable for their actions? And if so, in what form?

Saul Griffith:                 I don't know how. I think they should be strung up by their testicles, because they're mostly old white men. And you know, publicly flagellated. But I don't think that helps.

Jason Jacobs:                We can try.

Saul Griffith:                 We can try. It would certainly make a lot of us feel good. When you read for example, every year BP publishes their global energy review. It's 40 years of cynicism. If you go back and read this annual energy review, this year finally they're talking about the possibility. It's like they've had some great awakening. Now magically all of a sudden it's possible to wean ourselves off fossil fuels. But they held on for 40 years writing objectionable bullshit in those reports, to make it sound like it was to impossible. Because in some respects, that report is part of their PR for keeping their share price high enough to continue playing the game without a plank.

Jason Jacobs:                And I mean there is mandates. There's cap in trade. There's a carbon tax. There's [inaudible 00:33:12] neutral carbon tax. There's all these different ways that I haven't even mentioned, or thought of, or understand yet. But what do you think would be most effective in terms of accelerating this transition?

Saul Griffith:                 Well I just gave you my best crazy idea. The transition is here, and maybe it's game over. If you want to ask my position on a carbon tax, I'm in favor of everything that moves the needle. And a carbon tax may move the needle. I actually believe by the time we have a carbon tax implemented, it's irrelevant.

Saul Griffith:                 So solar tracking devices to solar projects that are bidding at 25 year contracts, that aren't [inaudible 00:33:47]. It's just the cheapest energy there is out there. The Department of Energy's own forecasting through 2030 for the cost of solar, has it being two cents a kilowatt hour industrially. Three cents commercially. And five cents a residentially. Five cents a kilowatt hour.

Saul Griffith:                 In Australia today, you can install solar at $1.20 a watt. For the capital cost. That financed for 20 years translates at six to seven cents per kilowatt hour. There's no energy source that is that cheap in Australia.

Saul Griffith:                 So that is to say solar is very, very hard to imagine anything being as cheap as solar five to ten years from now. Problem with it is though, with that industrial solar at two cents, if I sell electricity through the Sunfolding's a proxy, through the projects they do. To PG&E, Pacific Gas and Electric. For three cents a kilowatt hour.

Saul Griffith:                 The building that we're sitting in this morning, where I pay the electricity bill here, and we pay PG&E 24 cents a kilowatt hour, for the electricity that I produce for them, in the central valley. Why you would ask, right? 12 cents of the cost of the electricity in this building, is the transmission and distribution cost.

Saul Griffith:                 So if I can tell you in Australia, because of deregulation of the solar installation market, and job training programs, and other things, they've managed to get the cost of rooftop solar to six or seven cents a kilowatt. America, rooftop solar is still 20 to 30 cents a kilowatt hour, because of a whole bunch of silly reasons. Mostly policy and legislative reasons.

Saul Griffith:                 This is one of the things, like I've said, solving climate change is illegal in America. But if you got rooftop solar in America to the same price it is in Australia, six or seven cents a kilowatt hour. I would not bother trying to go through PG&E to get that solar made in the desert delivered here to San Francisco. I would just put the solar on the roof of this building. I have applied to the city of San Francisco to apply to put solar on the roof of this building. More than enough to supply all of our operations, and you know 20 homes surrounding us.

Saul Griffith:                 We're 18 months into that process. Because this is a historic building, the city has sent our application to the city attorney. That's terrible news, that means almost certainly it's a no. At which point I will have to sue the city of San Francisco for favoring history over the future.

Saul Griffith:                 But as an example of, we have all of this baggage legislation that's preventing us from doing the right things. I think there's no better example.

Jason Jacobs:                Well I've read some of your writing on, you've talked about electrifying everything. And then you kind of go sector-by-sector and say, this one is 6%, and that one is 18%, and that one is this, and that. And I'm not sure who the audience is, but I know personally I read it, and one it's just a lot for my pea brain to try and get my head around. But then two, I just don't know where to start or how to help. So I guess one question is, for people like me that are feeling that way, they might be a lawyer, they might be a doctor, they might be an investor. They're doing something that's not energy focused. What's their role in this transition?

Jason Jacobs:                Should they just go about what they're doing? Is it just voting and then hoping for the best? What do we need from them, or me?

Saul Griffith:                 So, I've been super wonky so far. So let's bring it back down from wonk-level. Maybe I should explain why I'm wonky. It's just I've been, I wouldn't say a skeptic, but I always like to read the original source. So I read the article, people in New York use less energy than people in Omaha. And I want to understand if that's true or not. So I've been looking at energy data for two decades. In fact so much that we actually got paid by the Department of Energy last year to try to produce the highest resolution mapping of the flows of energies through the US energy economy ever produced.

Jason Jacobs:                That's a Sankey diagram. Did I say that right?

Saul Griffith:                 We used a Sankey diagram as the way to see how that energy has transformed.

Jason Jacobs:                That was incredible what you built.

Saul Griffith:                 That's great, so I can tell you crazy details like sewage treatment is .1% of the energy flow in the US. And the energy to run meat processing slaughterhouses is .25% of US energy flow. Half of US energy flow is powering the trains to move the coal, from the coal mines to the... So I have that dizzying array of numbers, which is probably the thing that confuses you, and is like, oh that leaves me paralyzed. Because that's all of these lines.

Jason Jacobs:                It's like reading [inaudible 00:38:31]. You could do this, you could do that, you could this. And it's like, okay, now I understand all the problem areas, but I don't know how to mobilize at all.

Saul Griffith:                 Right.

Jason Jacobs:                Or even just my job.

Saul Griffith:                 So I've done all R&D research, and this year I'm sort of dedicating to figuring out sort of how to distill that for the public. And maybe I should work backwards from the simplest possible answer to your question, and then I'll add more detail.

Saul Griffith:                 So the simplest possible answer to that question is, if you can remotely afford it, the next time you buy a car it has to be electric. Next time you replace your furnace, it has to be with an electric heat pump. The next time you have shingles put in your roof, you put photovoltaics on the roof instead. If you have a spare hundred thousand dollars that you are otherwise going to invest in your children's retirement fun, you should just buy all of these things today. And for around about $100,000, for all of the things that you directly control as a consumer. Meaning you have a sort of 1:1 relationship with the fossil fuel. About $100,000 will buy you a decarbonized life.

Saul Griffith:                 So buy an electric car, electrify everything in your life. Electrify your heat, electric cars, electric furnace. Electrify your hot water heater. Electrify your stove. And put solar on your roof.

Jason Jacobs:                So should someone create like a virtual gift box called Decarbonized Life? With a price tag on it that has all those things? It's like a kit.

Saul Griffith:                 I think there's a much more interesting and much bigger idea than that.

Jason Jacobs:                Let's hear it.

Saul Griffith:                 So, the first market in the world where it's economically sane for you to decarbonize completely, is probably Australia. And a couple of remote Pacific islands. Here's why. They have good solar resource. They figured out how to get rid of the red tape so that rooftop solar is super cheap. They've got higher retail gasoline prices, higher retail natural gas prices, and high retail electricity prices. So average grand family spend about $8,000 a year on fossil fuels, buying gasoline for the car, buying natural gas to heat their home, buying electricity from the grid.

Saul Griffith:                 For about $15,000 you can buy them the solar cell that powers all of those things. For the difference between the price of a gasoline car, and an electric car, which is about $10,000, the price of a battery. You buy the two $10,000 batteries for the cars for that household, and then you spend about $20,000 buying them electric heat pump for the heating. Electric heat pump for the water heating. And electric stove and range.

Saul Griffith:                 So you add all those things up and that's maybe a $50,000-$100,000 expense for that household. After which, if you could finance that at their home mortgage interest rate, like 4% or 5%, the payments on that interest rate would be about $4,000 to $5,000 a year. So they would be saving $3,000-$4,000 a year.

Saul Griffith:                 So it looks like it cancels. A bank in Australia, and in fact I've had conversations with the heads of two out of four of the largest Australian banks, convincing them that they needed to make a financial product which was a green refinance. Or a climate mortgage, if you like.

Jason Jacobs:                So I think what I'm hearing from you, is that the role of the consumer, or one role of the consumer, is to do the stuff to decarbonize their own situation. But then the role of either the government, or the private sector, or some combination of the two, is to come up with the products that help facilitate that. And make the math work for that instrument.

Saul Griffith:                 Yes. And even better, I can actually point at energy markets where this is already true, and already possible. It's going to be a race between Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California to be the first state where this is true in America. If you were a policy-maker, you'd be looking to figure out how to make rooftop solar not cost $3.20 a watt, as it does in America. But how to follow Australia's lead, and make it cost $1.20 a watt. And then you'd figure out how to motivate those other two pieces, and then you'd figure out... You know, the mortgage itself was an invention of the 20th century.

Saul Griffith:                 We invented auto-financing in the 1920s because Henry Ford ran out of people who could pay cash for cars. So Alfred P Sloan invented the mortgage, or car loan for General Motors. General Motors immediately lept ahead of Ford in market value, because all of a sudden people could afford to own a car.

Saul Griffith:                 In 1940 we started to adopt that model of financing to build homes for people coming home from WWII. That's what gave us the explosion of the American suburbs, was the invention of the home mortgage. That was built on the back of inventing the concepts of Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. And government backed mortgages.

Saul Griffith:                 So maybe all we need to solve climate change, is to invent a new financial product. And to start a new Fanny Mae, which is the government backed guarantee of the financing for American homes to be able to afford to do this decarbonizing transition.

Saul Griffith:                 Which is, these are easy things. Electrify your transport, electrify your heat, and put solar on your roof.

Jason Jacobs:                Pair that with the same creative genius that did some of the most successful anti-smoking campaigns, right? And I think you're really on to something. Because it's like you get the product, but then you get the messaging in a way that's really going to mobilize people. And then you just spread the word, and educate. Make it an aspirational thing for people to do.

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, look I abhor what I'm about to tell you because I'm in technology, I'm a nerd, I'm a science and engineering nerd. Love technology. But the solution to climate change at this point is a financial product. And you can imagine the 20th century without a whole bunch of the technologies that we invented. But you can't imagine... I think the invention of the auto-financing loan, and the home mortgage. And the popularization of those two things in 20th century America, without those two things America wouldn't look at all like it does. They were hugely important to everything that the 20th century was.

Saul Griffith:                 So we now need something like that to enable this new capital intensive conversion to renewables. Which is then very low energy cost thereafter.

Jason Jacobs:                So what role does Silicon Valley have in this fight? Or what role should they have?

Saul Griffith:                 I'm at my nadir of appreciation for Silicon Valley. I feel like we've spent 25 years figuring out how to advertise video games to children. And it's super unclear. We can now deliver plastic made in China, via Amazon, to your door, in under 24 hours. But it's not clear that Silicon Valley has anything to boast about in succeeding as climate change. And what they've really done is just made us perfect advertised to constantly. Delivered to constantly consumers.

Saul Griffith:                 So hopefully they would recognize they have that blood in their hands. And then they would understand what we need to do. And Silicon Valley would go out there and do some crazy fin-tech, Bitcoin backed financing model for decarbonizing your life. Or whatever it is. And they would actually throw down significant capital, and invest in all of the technology improvements to make solar, and wind, and everything else get better.

Saul Griffith:                 And in order to make that happen, you probably, what Silicon Valley needs to do, is change it's central financing model from one that has to do with returns in 7-10 years, to one that has to make no returns in 15-20.

Jason Jacobs:                Is that the only difference between affective financing from the type of innovation you need in the current central model, is time horizons? Or are there others?

Saul Griffith:                 There's others. Long answer, I don't have all the answers. I don't think we're very good at financing clean tech.

Jason Jacobs:                I mean in some ways, hearing you talk, it sounds like working with Silicon Valley is a bit like working with the hydrocarbon companies. Like yeah, they haven't necessarily been good stewards towards helping solve this problem. And in some ways have been actively making it worse. But at the same time, we could sure use their help because they've got a bunch of expertise that if mobilized and deployed properly could be quite impactful.

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, Silicon Valley has taken the best minds of our generation, and made them use brain, and cognitive science to help you purchase shit faster.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, that's looking backwards but they're still the best minds of our generation.

Saul Griffith:                 They're still the best minds of our generation. So what you really need to do is to re-motivate Silicon Valley to re-motivate the best minds of our generation to work on the things that actually allows us to have an ongoing civilization.

Saul Griffith:                 But I don't see that happening yet.

Jason Jacobs:                And do you think when allocating dollars, is it required to be concessionary in terms of strictly financial returns to focus on the most impactful stuff?

Saul Griffith:                 I'm going to avoid that question with a monologue. If that's okay. And it will make sense why I avoided that question.

Saul Griffith:                 So I'm going to D.C. next week. I'm trying to go to D.C. and I'm meeting with think tanks from both sides of the aisle, to describe what in reality a green new deal needs to look like to hit a one and a half, or two degree climate target.

Jason Jacobs:                What it needs to look like in terms of the underlying policies to fill in the missing cog?

Saul Griffith:                 Even less policy based. So we have an unfortunate history that we went straight from climate scientists who said, "this is the problem" to economists who used some top-down econometric analysis to say, "we need to reduce emissions here, and here, and here." Unfortunately those economists started with the 1970's, "oh if we use efficiency we can solve climate change." But you can't efficiency your way to success, right? Even with hundred and fifty mile per gallon cars, if they're still burning gallons of oil, it doesn't get your to zero carbon.

Saul Griffith:                 So for a couple of reasons, we handed it to economists, and then we had this efficiency model leftover from... It's a Jimmy Carter, or a Richard Nixon legacy from the oil embargo days.

Jason Jacobs:                Put your sweater on.

Saul Griffith:                 Put your sweater on. We weren't thinking about this as a giant transition, with substitution technology. You have to think about it as a substitution. You have to substitute electric cars. Substitute electric heat pumps. Etc, etc. etc. Because of that, all of the climate responses we hear about in the media look like these weird abstract, top-down, economic things.

Saul Griffith:                 So what if instead you said, okay, what do I need to do? And just take a country. Because it's easy to imagine as a country, let's take America because roughly the whole world aspires to have an American quality of life for a reason. Middle class American life.

Saul Griffith:                 What do you need to do, to give Americans the same quality of life. The same privileges, or commodities if you like, that have them in with the substitution technologies that get us to zero carbon? And that looks like you have to, there's 120-136 million housing units. You need to put solar on the roof of every single one of them. There's 253 million personally owned vehicles. That's everything from Honda Civics to F-350s. You have to replace all those 250 million vehicles, or the majority of them, either with things driven by bio-fuels, or hydrogen, or more likely electric. You have to replace the furnace in 136 million homes with a heat pump, or with a bio fuel furnace. You have to replace all the hot water heaters. You have to replace the stoves. Right?

Saul Griffith:                 Then you say. Well let's think about all those things. We purchase cars, in fact, the average car in the US lasts 13 years. The average hot water heater lasts 11 years. The average stove lasts 13 years. I'm looking this up. There's a wiki.

Saul Griffith:                 America is incredible and has all the best statistics on all this sort of crap. The government here is incredible at statistics. The average 85% of American homes have asphalt shingle roofs. And they are on average replaced every 15 to 16 years. And you have all these things.

Saul Griffith:                 So if you then said to yourself, at every single purchasing decision from today 2019. Let's say 2020. From 2020 forward, so we have one year to warm up to this idea. From 2020 forward, every time a roof needs to be replaced in the US, we put solar on it. Every time a furnace needs to be replaced in America, you put in an electric heat pump instead of a natural gas powered boiler.

Jason Jacobs:                And this is the government in the form of some type of mandate?

Saul Griffith:                 Let's imagine this is consumers, because we've figured out a policy that enables consumers to afford it.

Jason Jacobs:                Okay, so carrot instead of stick. Like if you do it then you get...

Saul Griffith:                 Imagine that I care more about the coral reefs more than I care about milking freedom in an argument of whether this is the government with a stick, or a market with a carrot.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah, I know you do. But some of those people don't.

Saul Griffith:                 Right.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah.

Saul Griffith:                 Anyway.

Jason Jacobs:                I don't know if they ever will. Which is really deeply upsetting.

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, I was deeply upset. Because the answer to that question is, if we made every single purchasing decision at the next replacement opportunity correctly. Starting in 2020. We have about a 50-50 chance of hitting the Paris climate goals.

Saul Griffith:                 So that's like every decision. That's not like an adoption rate, let the early adopters start slowly. So we're 20 years in from Tesla's popularization of the electric vehicle. And we have two percent something adoption. But we need to do this. It needs to look like WWII. Where we turn all of American industry... So this green new deal analogy is wrong. Actually Senator Warren is the first-

Jason Jacobs:                I'm glad you're bringing this up because you talked about green new deal, and proponent, and then you talked about how Warren's policy proposals are actually much better.

Saul Griffith:                 I don't know that her policy proposals are better, but I suspect they are. Because all of the policy proposals, of all of these campaigns coming forward, are pretty slim. But they're like policy targets maybe you might call them. But what Senator Warren has done, that the other candidates have failed to do, the green new deal was not popular when it was done. Nor did it really solve the unemployment problem coming out of the great depression.

Jason Jacobs:                It's a new deal. The new deal.

Saul Griffith:                 The new deal. The original new deal.

Jason Jacobs:                Yeah.

Saul Griffith:                 Original new deal didn't really solve the problem. WWII is what put America back to work. And WWII is because we were making what was known as war materials. Tanks, jeeps, guns, bullets.

Saul Griffith:                 Sorry that's my dog trying to break in.

Jason Jacobs:                We're not editing that out.

Saul Griffith:                 That's the charm that Otherlab brings.

Jason Jacobs:                You got the factory, you got the [inaudible 00:52:58] on the door. A hundred skateboards in the entrance.

Saul Griffith:                 Anyway new deal didn't really solve our climate problem. American's retooling and manufacture, under the cost-plus contract. So we invented the cost-plus contract. Any manufacturer who could make anything was given a guaranteed cost + 7% profit. In fact it was called Patriotism + 7%, to manufacture these war materials.

Saul Griffith:                 If we did that kind of turnaround, and Senator Warren uses that analogy to talk about the engineering problem of producing enough decarbonized technologies. And then she uses the moonshot as the science project to try and put new options on the table.

Jason Jacobs:                To borrow a term from Google-X.

Saul Griffith:                 Wait, I think they may have borrowed it from someone else. You should check the history of that. [inaudible 00:53:59] We should just let the dog in. [crosstalk 00:54:00]

Saul Griffith:                 This is my lap dog Loki. He was meant to be 30lbs, he's now 50. 25% extra dog, no extra cost.

Saul Griffith:                 Anyway, Senator Warren at least has the metaphors right. The moonshot, and the war effort simultaneously to hit a climate target that's only reasonable.

Jason Jacobs:                So I think what I'm hearing from you, is that if you only look at near term returns, it's kind of like the hydrocarbon companies, they reallocating everything towards clean in the long term, is necessary. But in the short term is not necessarily in their economic interest. Whereas if you take like the Silicon Valley-

Saul Griffith:                 In the short term it's in the interest of the American consumer. I believe strongly that if we did the right electrification, consumers starting tomorrow would pay less for their total energy cost. And they would live a better life, with better health outcomes, because we wouldn't have... We wouldn't be burning fossil fuels inside your house, and you wouldn't be breathing in fossil fuels alongside every road, and highway.

Jason Jacobs:                From an investment thought of standpoint, it sounds like in the long term, it's the smart money. And in the short term it might be conceptionary in some regard, but it's essential to get to the long term [crosstalk 00:55:21] anyway.

Saul Griffith:                 Yeah, the only difference between the short term, and the long term, is the interest rate that you assume. If you're going to make consumers finance this on their credit card at 9%, it's not economical. But if you can build a financing instrument that will finance this at 4%, because it's backed by green Fanny, then it's economic now.

Jason Jacobs:                Well, last question Saul, which is just if you had a hundred billion dollars, and you could put it toward anything to have a massive impact on the climate fight, where would you put it, and how would you allocate it?

Saul Griffith:                 Nine billion dollars as the seed funding for our green regulatory financing company. And then the other 10 billion would invest in, we need a better way to convert biomass into a carbon negative, or a net-zero carbon bio-fuel. We need to figure out how to make plastics without going through all the fumes, and producing nitrous oxide.

Saul Griffith:                 So I think 10% or 15% of the remaining carbon budget will be nearly consumed by the production of disposal plastics. So you've got to solve all of those problems. Let's put a couple of billion of serious dollars into investing infusion. Where the rule should be you're not allowed to invest in anyone who [inaudible 00:56:32]. As they say in physics, progress is made one death at a time. And that would get you close.

Jason Jacobs:                Anything I didn't ask, that I should've? Or any parting words for our guests? And before you answer that, I just want to say that you talked up a big game at the beginning about ruffling a bunch of feathers and stuff like that, but this was a pretty PG rated discussion. I would say.

Saul Griffith:                 Well you didn't ask me the explicit opinions on any particular thing. We were mostly talking about finance, which you're rich [inaudible 00:57:07]. So if I went back and looked back at the details, and energy flows, and questions like New York, I'm sure I could be a contrarian asshole. But I'm optimistic, it is still possible to solve climate change. And I strongly believe if we did it, everyone on earth would be living better, etc. But I think the reality is, I try to put an exclamation mark. If we make every single purchasing decision correctly starting next year, humanity barely gets a climate outcome that's tolerable.

Saul Griffith:                 So it's like we have to do something beyond the free-market. Whether that's incentive, whether that's mandated, whether it's creative financing, it has to be something that's not happened to that effect.

Jason Jacobs:                Well Saul, thank you for all the work that you're doing on this topic. Hopefully [inaudible 00:58:00] and in Washington, and other places. And also thanks for taking the time to come on the show, and educate me and our listeners.

Saul Griffith:                 Sure, thank you very much.

Jason Jacobs:                Hey everyone, Jason here. Thanks again for joining me on my climate journey. If you'd like to learn more about journey, you can visit us at note that is .co not .com. Someday we'll get the .com, but right now .co.

Jason Jacobs:                You can also find me on twitter at @jjacobs22 where I would encourage you to share your feedback on the episode, or suggestions for future guests you'd like to hear. And before I let you go, if you enjoyed the show, please share an episode with a friend, or consider leaving a review on iTunes. The lawyers made me say that. Thank you.